Co. Cups: Cheers to good coffee and better choices

Co. Cups

photo of co cups cup

Co. Cups started with a belief that when it comes to caring for the environment and convenience, you shouldn’t have to compromise.

It’s a service for anyone who wants to make greener choices but finds it tricky to constantly carry a coffee cup.

“That’s the problem with sustainability in the past,” says Co. Cups founder and director Alex Harmer, “it expected people to change their behaviour rather than making solutions easy.

“I wanted to find ways to make reusable items available in attractive, convenient formats – to make people feel like they can have a win and feel good about their choices.”

The company’s ethos leans towards “on demand, not on you,” Alex explains.

That’s the problem with sustainability in the past, it expected people to change their behaviour rather than making solutions easy.”

A simple premise

The service revolves around an app that features a map of participating venues and makes it easy for users to rent and return cups.

The service is free for occasional users, allowing up to five uses per month with up to two cups checked out at once. For a subscription fee of just $3 per month, Premium users may have three cups checked out at any time and have unlimited uses.

To borrow a cup, simply click through the desired cafe and show the confirmation screen upon arrival. Your coffee will be prepared in the cup for you to enjoy and you can return it at any participating cafe at your convenience. No need to wash!

All Co. Cups are then cleaned by the cafe partners “to exceed Australian food safety standards” and returned to circulation. If a customer finds a cup with an imperfection, they are encouraged to take it back to the cafe in exchange for another.

Building on a drinkware and foodware business

Alex and the team have taken their experience running sister company Ruzi, which provides reusable drinkware and foodware specifically for events, and applied this experience to make the best product possible.

Each cup is made from the bamboo offcuts of products such as disposable cutlery, which is then turned to powder and reshaped.

The natural finish gives the cups a luxurious matte feel while being durable and hygienic.

This article is part of the City of Sydney’s Sustainable Destination Partnership series.

Poised to expand

Co. Cups is currently launching at a number of cafe’s in Sydney’s CBD, Macquarie Park and across the North Shore.

It’s still in the development stage though, Alex explains, running alongside the team’s usual events operation.

“It’s all about an avenue to communicate with people,” Alex says, “about helping people make a step towards sustainability wherever we can.”

Co. Cups

Service | Australia | Sydney | New South Wales